Ragnarok 2019 – Day 2

Day two started with James (RomanLegion) declaring he wanted to go to a particular cafe near the tournament venue. We walked in to a wall of easy listening jazz music and a well-dressed waiter wearing a Rolex. Apparently the corner bakery was not enough for our resident fancy boy! I had scarfed down leftovers from our Cantonese feast on Friday while the other guys were showering, assuming we were just going to get bagels or something.

In order to keep up appearances at this cash-only, jazz-playing, Rolex-wearing waiter establishment, I ordered a fruit parfait, mainly because it sounded fancy. Gotta blend in with the fancy crowd when you travel with James (RomanLegion)!

Game 4 – Hunting for Brains

Game four was against Rida (jackfrost). I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Rida at various tournaments before, but never had the opportunity to play him. We were playing on a beautiful Haqqislamite fortress-themed table, which I believe is a joint effort between Ryan (halfjackz) and Adam (avanst). They’ve done a really awesome job of integrating a objective room as well as creating a really cool fortress assault vibe.

Apparently, the intent was that one of the doors on the objective room would let you into an underground tunnel that exits into the little canal within the fortress, which is awesome. Of course, neither Rida nor I were aware of this and missed out on this cool easter egg (and it absolutely would’ve affected the game, but oh well).

Overview

  • Mission: Hunting Party
  • Forces: Japanese Secessionist Army versus Ramah Taskforce (300)
  • Deploy First: JSA
  • First Turn: JSA
Hunting
GROUP 1 | 9 1 1

OYAMA Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Breaker Pistol, AP CCW, EXP CCW. (0 | 28)
YURIKO ODA Combi Rifle + E/Mitter, D-Charges, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 23)
KEMPEI (Multispectral Visor L2) Shock Marksman Rifle / Pistol, CCW, Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
KEISOTSU Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 14)
KEISOTSU (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
SHIKAMI Contender, Nimbus Grenades / Assault Pistol, DA CCW, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 45)
ONIWABAN Submachine Gun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0 | 37)
RYŪKEN (CH: Limited Camouflage) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Antipersonnel Mines / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
YOJIMBO Contender, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades, CrazyKoalas (2) / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 21)

GROUP 2 | 3

RYŪKEN (Forward Deployment L2, ODD) Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines, D-Charges / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 24)
RYŪKEN (Forward Deployment L2, ODD) Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines, D-Charges / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 24)
TOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

This was my Hunting Party list. Basically the plan is to get the Oniwaban or the Shikami where they need to be to get work done. I was hoping to be able to close combat Rida’s lieutenant with an Oniwaban, using the stun pistol instead of the monofilament CCW.

I think this plan was my undoing, because I just didn’t really flesh out much of a plan beyond that. The table threw me for a loop as well. In any case, on to Rida’s list.

Game 4 – jackfrost
GROUP 1 | 6

GHULAM HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 20)
GHULAM (NCO) Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 16)
GHULAM Hacker (Hacking Device) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 20)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
LEILA SHARIF Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Shock Marksman Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)

TUAREG Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 35)

GROUP 2 | 7

NAFFATÛN Lieutenant Rifle + Light Flamethrower, Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)

MUKHTAR (Multispectral Visor L2) Red Fury, 2 Nanopulsers / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 37)
MUKHTAR (Forward Observer) Rifle + Light Shotgun, 2 Nanopulser, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 28)
MUKHTAR (Fireteam: Haris) Viral Rifle, 2 Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)

RAFIQ REMOTE Rifle + Light Shotgun, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
SHIHAB REMOTE HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
NAJJARUN Engineer Rifle + Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 17)
NASMAT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
NASMAT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)


6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

It has that excellent Ghulam NCO profile in it, as well as the dreaded Mukhtar Haris. Rida and discussed his combat group breakdown at length after the game, so I’ll leave that discussion for the post game analysis once we have some more context for the game.

Deployment

Rida won the rolloff and took the fortress side primarily for fluff reasons. Of course the Haqqislamite faction should be defending the Haqq fortress! There really wasn’t a better place for me to deploy other than in the open air atrium on the left. I set up a layered defense with Keisotsu and Yuriko’s mine protecting Neko and Yuriko, then put Ryuken-9 in places that I thought would be useful, particularly one on the right flank and one guarding the central objective room.

I put Yojimbo at the base of the long wooden bridge on the right side of my deployment zone, figuring that he could actually make use of his impetuous order from there. I really didn’t want to have to cancel it repeatedly. The Ryuken-9 HRL went on the bridge itself, I figured I could use it to assault whatever ARO pieces Rida left out. The Shikami went in the fortress on my left, mainly so I could put the Oniwaban wherever was best.

Rida basically mirrored my deployment, building a fortress protecting his Naffatun lieutenant. The right side of his deployment zone was just the Rafiq and Shibab remotes, along with a Nasmat.

I put the Oniwaban right next to the Muhktar Red Fury, figuring that I could attack it if necessary, especially after it advanced. It was also far enough from the Rafiq that I didn’t think Rida would be able to sensor it safely. In response, placed his Taureg on a roof in the likely path of my Shikami out of reserve. Of course, neither of us knew the other’s plans.

It’s worth pointing out that Rida used a second Nasmat to body-block his Lieutenant, meaning I would have to chew through all the wounds of the Nasmat before I could safely get my Oniwaban into base to base.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – JSA

Rida correctly docked me two orders from my Ryuken-9 SMGs’ pool to start things off. Yojimbo made it forward without incident. I decided to embark on a clever plan–I would get rid of the Ghulam sniper overwatching everything on the bridge, then shoot the Nasmat with my Ryuken-9 HRL, hopefully torching the Naffatun and forcing Rida to select a Lieutenant that was easier to get to.

The first part of that plan went quite well–with the one order I had left for the Ryuken-9 SMG, I shocked the Ghulam sniper clean off the table.

58.56 27.40 14.04

I move the Ryuken-9 HRL into cover, as it was just hanging out on the bridge by itself. Apparently there’s enough of a Mukhtar poking out from behind a corner that the Ryuken-9 is visible, so Rida delays.

I figure I should go for the Nasmat, but I’d like to keep my Ryuken alive. I also figure that my odds are pretty good with cover, surprise, and range, so I take a shot at the Mukhtar.

44.75 40.75 14.50

The odds aren’t as good as I had thought, due to the Muhktar’s mimetism. I sneak a hit through, but Rida rolls a successful ARM save.

I try again without surprise shot, and I lose the Ryuken-9 to viral ammo.

38.52 38.63 22.84

Dealing with the Mukhtar wasn’t part of the plan, and now I can’t take the shot on the Nasmat. This development is disappointing, as my odds for knocking out the Naffatun were actually pretty decent against its dodge at -3 versus the template.

55.52 29.03 15.45

My turn is now pretty disrupted. I take a beat to refocus and decide to sink the rest of my orders into the Shikami, who makes it into the objective room safely. Rida tries to fake me out by asking me to turn around while he “checks something,” to try and fool me into thinking his Tuareg is somewhere near my Shikami.

After this, I didn’t have a better idea than to advance Yojimbo to try and plug up the fortress gate with koalas, and to avoid losing Yojimbo to some shots from the Mukhtar Red Fury.

Bottom of 1 – Ramah

Rida decides he wants to get rid of Yojimbo and buffs the Rafiq after doing some order pool switching. After shuffling the Rafiq towards the Oniwaban (away from the fortress gate), he sensors, and reveals nothing. The Rafiq cautious moves across the LoF of the Keisotsu ML (unfortunately we remembered that this was illegal after the game) and takes some shots at Yojimbo who keeps passing ARM rolls.

The Rafiq runs out of orders, so the Shihab tries next, but I finally land smoke with Yojimbo.

It’s at this point that the Mukhtar start advancing, killing my poor Ryuken-9 that got the sniper earlier.

They make it into view of my HVT and get the MSV the HVT classified, whatever it’s called. Rida’s out of orders and passes turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – JSA

I decide I need to try and get rid of the two ‘bots so I can get Yojimbo into the fight. With the Shikami so close, I figure I can use Nimbus to get some work done. I throw Nimbus and gain LoF to the Rafiq with the Shikami’s assault pistol.

41.39 53.72 4.89

It takes two orders, but finally the Rafiq is unconscious.

For some inexplicable reason, I forget that the Rafiq is a specialist and neglect to take the ADHL shot for points, instead electing to super jump to a nearby platform and set up Nimbus for my shot on the TR bot against its dodge.

40.01 49.32 10.67

I’ve got not unreasonable odds to take out the TR bot, but after 3 orders of shooting I still haven’t managed to wound it. I try to take it out with the nearby Ryuken-9 SMG, and fail that as well, on admittedly worse odds.

29.06 57.97 12.97

I spent my last order super jumping the Shikami off the roof and into view of the Naffatun, attempting a long range ADHL shot through a Nimbus zone on -9. I have pretty sad odds for this, and fail.

9.44 53.31 37.25

It’s worth noting that the Shikami with combi rifle has better odds of taking out the TR bot against it shooting instead of dodging. It’s a much riskier proposal, but there’s a 15% improvement in doing a wound versus only a 6% increase in taking one. I might have to start taking the Shikami with combi rifle over the Nimbus+Assault Pistol one…

55.84 27.78 16.38

In any case, I’ve thoroughly flubbed two turns this game now, and Rida still has to play out his bottom of two.

Bottom of 2 – Ramah

He spends the first part of his turn setting up a ton of smoke for his Muhktar.

They make their way past a mine which we both forgot about, and then glue-gun my Doctor from outside of 16″.

Both links sort themselves out and get into defensive positions, and then it’s back to me.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – JSA

I decide I want to get rid of the TR bot to give the Oniwaban freedom of movement. I get triple crit over the course of two orders. Sigh.

This was foolish of me, as I could’ve easily gotten into a position and “pogo sticked” up and down to take ADHL shots at the Naffatun with relative impunity while it dodged.

15.06 36.44 48.50

Of course, my odds wouldn’t have been very good, and I should’ve just shot the nearby Rafiq with an ADHL unopposed. What I ended up doing instead was revealing the Oniwaban and trying to take out the Ghulam NCO to break the link. Rida was clever and shot a smoke grenade to prevent me from trying again if we both missed, so I recamoed the Shikami and kept going. I kept trying to kill Ghulams instead of gluing specialists, like a fool!

In any case, eventually Rida’s dice remember that they’re on a lucky streak and my Oniwaban dies.

I had every opportunity to glue specialists, but kept passing them up to try and figure out how to glue the Lt. I don’t know why I was so fixated, but I was. Ah well. I suppose that will happen if you don’t go into the game with a clear plan.

Bottom of 3 – Ramah

Rida secures my HVT and flips one of the nearby antennas.

With his other classified, it’s a

5-0 Ramah Taskforce Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well, not to detract from Rida’s well played game and good prioritization of getting objective points, but I just derped HARD this game. I got it in my head that the only way to get points was to glue the lieutenant, and played accordingly. This goes back to this other battle report:

I’m not entirely sure what happened. I just didn’t have my head screwed on straight, and Rida just did the right things and the dice that were bad odds for both of us swung his way. Sorry Rida, hopefully next time we play I’ll be able to give you a challenging game and won’t just be a vaguely nerd-shaped potato on the other side of the table.

There was a clear path to victory here, and it involved me being careful and playing to the objective instead of asking my units to do things that they weren’t really capable of doing. Yojimbo was misused, as was the Shikami, and I didn’t take a moment at any point during the game to re-assess my plans and priorities, especially after losing the Ryuken-9 HRL early on. I wasn’t angry, frustrated, or on tilt from my dice luck, I think I was just distracted by solving a singular problem. When every attempt was foiled I just doubled down instead of moving laterally and finding another problem to solve.

To give myself a concrete actionable lesson from this game, I’m going to open comlog at the start of each turn and read the objectives, even if I know I know them. I think that should be enough to jog me out of a over-focused and over-committed line of problem solving.

I promised a discussion of order groups, so here goes. Rida’s list has the same number of orders as mine, but he’s organized them into a group of 6 and a group of 7, whereas I went with 10 and 3. My first turn was way more disrupted by him docking me two orders from group two. His reasoning was that I might have two TO models in group two, which would’ve been disastrous if I had deployed them in really bad places for him. As it stood, I only had one order of shooting from the Ryuken-9. If I had more, I could’ve more safely attacked the Mukhtar by catching it out of cover.

His other main point was that docking two orders from group one is only 20% damage to my order pool, but two from group two is a whopping 67% damage. Better return on investment for sure.

I’ve been exposed to the idea of not having a single full combat group building before, and I’ve tried it myself once or twice. Perhaps I should give it another try, I think my list in this particular game could definitely have used that kind of change up, especially since I generally play a very conservative non-trading style with my JSA. When I return to my JSA after a bit I might give it a go. In any case, I’m looking forward to a non-potato rematch with Rida sometime…

Game 5 – High Ground

After a delicious lunch of jambalaya, we headed back to the venue. A bit of an odd choice for a trip to Vancouver, BC, in my opinion, but Adam (TheDiceAbide) was hankering for some BBQ brisket so we obliged him.

My round five opponent was Nathan (Van Island Merc). He’s been playing Nomads on and off since Operation Icestorm, and has been painting his JSA as well, so I knew this was going to be a tough matchup!

Thankfully, I ended up on the table from Game 3 against James (stampysaur), which I was already familiar with and knew how important the high ground was. We had the option to change tables, and there were some that were open for use, but after the previous game versus Rida I decided to focus entirely on the mission. Having a familiar table for a very unfamiliar mission would hopefully help me out!

Overview

  • Mission: Ragnarok
  • Forces: Japanese Secessionist Army versus Nomads (300)
  • Deploy First: JSA
  • First Turn: JSA

Adam (avanst) had written the following custom scenario before the release of ITS Season 11 as a “fix” to Decapitation. I must say, after my wonderful experience playing the altered Decapitation mission at Humboldt, I was really excited to play Adam’s version.

It looks complicated, but boils down to: win a DataTracker on DataTracker fight and then kill the designated target somehow. Seems good.

Hunting
GROUP 1 | 9 1 1

OYAMA Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Breaker Pistol, AP CCW, EXP CCW. (0 | 28)
YURIKO ODA Combi Rifle + E/Mitter, D-Charges, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 23)
KEMPEI (Multispectral Visor L2) Shock Marksman Rifle / Pistol, CCW, Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
KEISOTSU Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 14)
KEISOTSU (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
SHIKAMI Contender, Nimbus Grenades / Assault Pistol, DA CCW, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 45)
ONIWABAN Submachine Gun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0 | 37)
RYŪKEN (CH: Limited Camouflage) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Antipersonnel Mines / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
YOJIMBO Contender, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades, CrazyKoalas (2) / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 21)

GROUP 2 | 3

RYŪKEN (Forward Deployment L2, ODD) Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines, D-Charges / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 24)
RYŪKEN (Forward Deployment L2, ODD) Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines, D-Charges / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 24)
TOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I had built the list to use the Shikami as my DataTracker, figuring he could go anywhere and kill just about anything, with the rest of the list in support. I figured the Keisotsu FO could try to kill the enemy Designated Target, but with that being only one extra point I decided to just kill the Designated Target with whatever was most convenient.

Game 5 – Van Isle Merc
GROUP 1 | 8 2 2

INTERVENTOR Hacker Lieutenant (Hacking Device Plus) Combi Rifle, 1 FastPanda / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)
TOMCAT Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)
CARLOTA KOWALSKY Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, Adhesive Launcher, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 30)
INTRUDER HMG, Grenades / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 42)
MORAN (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, CrazyKoalas (2) / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 22)
PERSEUS (Super-Jump) Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / 2 Pistols, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 34)
PROWLER (Specialist Operative) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, Adhesive Launcher / Pistol, CCW. (0.5 | 33)
ZONDNAUT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 32)
ZONDMATE Chain Rifle, Smoke Light Grenade Launcher / Electric Pulse. (5)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 6)
LIBERTO (Minelayer) Light Shotgun, Chain-colt, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 10)

GROUP 2 | 2 1 1

PUPPET MASTERS (Minelayer) Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 14)
MORAN (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, CrazyKoalas (2) / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 22)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 6)


6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Nathan’s list was a bit of a smörgåsbord of Nomad awesomeness. Two Tomcats and a Prowler! So hipster. I love it! Unfortunately for Nathan though, I have a fair bit of experience with vanilla Nomads so I knew what to expect and how to break his toys.

Deployment

I lost the rolloff and Nathan took deployment, giving me the opposite side of the table that I had played James on the day before. Suits me just fine! I’d get to experience the table from both sides.

I deployed the Keisotsu link on the right, advanced as far as I could get it, figuring I would at least give myself the opportunity to try and get my Keisotsu FO to the Designated Target. My own Designated Target went on the left, protected by a Ryuken and her mine, a Keisotsu ML, and Yojimbo’s Koalas. The Keisotsu ML was covering both table edges in case a Tomcat or Hellcat walked on, and I put Yuriko’s mine in the backfield protecting Yojimbo in case a Hellcat dropped in next to him. I was a little worried about chain rifles making it around my right flank and threatening my link, but I put down a mine and the Ryuken-9 HRL to discourage such behavior.

I picked a likely spot that a Nomad Lt would show up and put the Oniwaban right at the edge of the deployment zone (and the table) to be able to go for the Lieutenant snipe if necessary.

My Tokusetsu Doctor covered the board edge where my Keisotsu ML couldn’t. The Doctor’s bot went on the right, mostly for doctor board coverage.

Nathan tucked his Designated Target as far from my Keisotsu FO as reasonable, putting it on the opposite table side, under an awning. To even get to it, I’d have to go to the opposite table corner and walk around a long L-shaped wall with my poor Keisotsu to even have a hope. To make matters worse, there was a Morlock guarding it.

A pair of Morans showed up as well, blanketing the midfield in Koala death–this was straight up a play out of my own book, and I felt pretty comfortable in my ability to deal with it. I had correctly predicted where the Interventor Lt would go–it ended up on the highest part of the roof near my Oniwaban. I had not predicted the presence of another Morlock and a Puppeteer and his mine though, which would make it quite difficult to get the Oniwaban up the stairs to do his dirty work.

Nathan faked an Intruder on a roof in the FD1 deployment band. It turned out to be a Prowler specialist operative! I love that profile, but rarely find the points to take it. The Prowler was backed up by a Libertos Minelayer guarding the stairs up to his perch. Finally, Nathan dropped a Zondnautica spitfire on the table, in a spot that would be really difficult for me to get to… unless I had Yojimbo, of course. I didn’t know which one of the deployed troopers would be Nathan’s DataTracker… none looked like they were good candidates.

I decided to just put the Shikami on the left, to hopefully encourage Nathan to mirror me. He obliged, putting Perseus on my left, and we both declared them to be our DataTrackers. Perseus! Of course. I rarely consider him in vanilla Nomads, but he makes for a really great tool for Hunting Party and any assassination missions like this one!

Turn 1

Top of 1 – JSA

Nathan docks me two orders from my first pool, which I think was a mistake (see previous game for reasoning). His deployment was mostly null, which is usually a safe proposition for a Nomad player with four Koalas in the midfield. This of course assumes that their opponent doesn’t have Koalas of their own, especially attached to a 8-6 MOV motorcycle. Yojimbo makes his way forward and throws a Koala under the bus to clear the Moran’s Koalas on the left.

There’s nothing left on that side to ARO, so Yojimbo easily makes it into view of the Designated Target, hitting it with a Contender and killing it.

I now have the option of hunting down the Zondnautica or going after the Koala-less Moran, which is also Nathan’s Liaison Officer. I elect to deny him objective points by taking out the Liaison Officer. I threaten a nanopulsar and just move into base to base while the Moran dodges, and Yojimbo does what he does best…

I deploy a mine with the leftmost Ryuken, moving her out to cover the stairs that Yojimbo just climbed, and then spent the last two orders in the second pool to run the Yaozao up and clear the remaining two Nomad Koalas.

Bottom of 1 – Nomads

I’ve only killed one order so far, but I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff done, cleared out a lot of Nathan’s board presence, and left him a threat he cannot ignore–Yojimbo in the midfield. After moving up his two Morlocks safely, he reveals the Prowler to take shots at Yojimbo, putting Yojimbo into NWI as my samurai fumbles with his smoke grenade.

Of course, while the Moran’s Koalas are gone, Yojimbo’s still got one left, and it goes to hug the Prowler! Fortunately for Nathan, he rolls well and the Prowler survives.

Nathan decides that my Ryuken on the left that’s covering Yojimbo needs to go, so after setting up smoke he runs the Intuder off its roof, across his deployment zone, and starts taking shots at the Ryuken-9.

It only takes him one order to drop her, but he spends a second order to shoot her off the table, and then puts the Intruder back into camo behind the smoke. Nathan knows I’m a Nomad player so doesn’t bother to hide his Lieuteant, spending the Lt order to cybermask the Interventor before passing turn. Thankfully the threat of Yojimbo and the Ryuken occupied most of Nathan’s attention and very little damage was actually done to my forces.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – JSA

The Prowler is still standing, so I try to take it out by vaulting some barrels with the remaining Ryuken-9. I hit the Prowler but it drops prone after passing ARM.

I decide to advance the link and start removing the Morlocks, which are in the open and the biggest threat to my forces at this time. I climb all but Yuriko up to the rooftop of the building they started near, and start shooting. I fail to kill the Morlock on my right, but the one on the left gets taken out by the Kempetai MSV2.

I find a keyhole through which I can see the Prowler, and take it out as well.

I’m a little concerned, especially with the remaining Moran so close to Neko, so I try to blunt the approach of the Moran with some Keisotsu bodies. Yojimbo’s got his irregular order left, so I crawl him down the stairs (his position is marked by the prone token) to set up for next turn.

Bottom of 2 – Nomads

The Zondnautica starts moving forward…

followed by the remaining Morlock. There was a clear path up the stairs on the side of the building that my link was on, so once the Morlock made its way outside chain rifle range of my Oniwaban and activated again, I revealed and shot it in the back with a SMG, knocking it out in ARO.

Even in NWI, Yojimbo was still a threat, so Nathan brought in a Tomcat to take it out.

He moved into view of the Keisotsu ML, and I (foolishly) decided to Nanopulsar instead of throwing smoke or dodging. In any case, the Tomcat dumped a full burst into Yojimbo. Between a successful missile hit, three combi-hits, and Yojimbo’s nanopulsar, neither the Tomcat or Yojimbo survived. I think I chose to nanopulsar because I noticed the Keisotsu could see after I declared Yojimbo’s ARO. Need to be more careful.

With Yojimbo down, the Zondnautica felt free to advance, trading Spitfire rounds with my Kempetai. Unfortunately for Nathan, I rolled extremely well and crit on an 18 and rolled a 16 to boot, throughly invalidating the four dice of the spitfire and taking the Zondnautica off the table. Funnily enough, even with Yojimbo dead, his bike was still blocking the way and had the Kempetai not rolled well the Zondnautica would’ve had to waste orders on dealing with Yojimbo’s bike.

It’s at this point that Nathan drops White Noise and sends in the Moran. The Kempetai is helpless against this, but the two Keisotsu that I left in the way do their job and sell their lives for the Moran’s final two orders.

Thankfully, with the Oniwaban revealed, Nathan isn’t willing to chance leaving the Interventor in a non-cybermasked state so he spends his last order re-engaging Cybermask instead of attempting to isolate Neko. I think this was a mistake, as an isolation now would have cost me the game.

40.50 32.88 26.62

Thankfully I would have had pretty decent odds at 73% or so to avoid getting Isolated, no doubt thanks to Neko’s WIP 14 reset and BTS 6.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – JSA

I use Neko’s lieutenant order and chain rifle the Moran down just to resolve that issue. Nathan elects to not reveal the Interventor in response.

I then super jump the Shikami onto the same rooftops as the rest of my forces and start doing coordinated orders to move the Shikami, Kempetai, and Oniwaban forward. The former two to threaten Perseus and the latter to threaten the Interventor. I figured I’d give myself one shot with the Shikami to take out Perseus, and then I would just finish the job with the Kempetai MSV2 to secure the points. There’s still the matter of the Intruder though. I bait the Intruder out of camo by giving him a shot on the Shikami, and fire a contender back.

35.50 47.60 16.90

I have decent odds to take the Intruder out, but it’s not good enough. I stop messing around and send in the Kempetai.

66.64 26.26 7.10

With the Intruder down, I super jump and catch Perseus out of cover within 16″ of my Shikami’s assault pistol.

40.70 40.37 18.93

I’ve got a 40.70% chance to wound, but only a 9.95% chance to do two wounds… thankfully Nathan fails two saves and I’ve got my DataTracker kill! I spent my last orders putting my Shikami prone, clear the mine with my Oniwaban, and then decide to put the Kempetai into suppression. What I should’ve done was use the Oniwaban to SMG down the Puppeteer, which would have made Nathan’s next turn plan an impossibility.

Bottom of 3 – Nomads

Nathan stands up his Interventor and takes a shot at the Kempetai. I break suppression, thinking we’re just over 24″, but it turns out we’re at 23.9″! NOOOO! I lose the Kempetai, and then Nathan sends in the Libertos.

Neko manages to discover it on its way in to kill the Shikami. It crits on one die, but misses with the other. Even though this is Nathan’s last order, my Keisotsu ML blasts the Libertos into sashimi just in case. To preserve the VP, he walks Carlota on.

With the Shikami surviving, it’s a

9-0 Japanese Secessionist Army!

Post Game Analysis

I think I made a good decision to ignore the Liaison Officer bonus for killing the Designated Tracker. Yojimbo was a sub-optimal option, I’m just glad that it only took one contender shot, especially since I’d have had to fight my way through a Morlock, which Yojimbo can’t really punk safely. The right thing to do would have been to throw smoke on top of the Morlock and move in, I suppose, but I’m not even sure Yojimbo’s bike would’ve fit in base to base, sucking even more orders.

I’m glad it all worked out, letting me go snipe Nathan’s Liaison Officer. He did a good job of taking out mine, which I had to sacrifice to protect Neko from getting Oblivioned. I also got a lot of work out of the Kempetai MSV2. She racked up most of my kills this game.

In discussions with Nathan after the game, I made the comment that I don’t think he should’ve invested so heavily in killing Yojimbo. Yes, Yojimbo was a threat, but just putting the Tomcat in suppression behind the wall, watching the stairs, would’ve been enough. Getting the Morlock into a position where I couldn’t have shot it and watching the stairs would also have been fine. His actual plan of standing up the Prowler was fine, it just felt like after that there were too many orders invested in it. Killing the Ryuken-9 also felt a little wasteful, although I think that was primarily to open up that side for Perseus to make an attack run, so upon further thought it was probably fine.

I also really think that Nathan should have been very aggressive with the Morlock on my right–it was in his main pool and would have been able to get at least one chain rifle shot off on my link, which could have been pretty devastating. I’m digging the single Morlock in the main pool build–I should try it sometime… or use the Uberfall. In any case, this was a game very well played by Nathan. I just did a few unexpected things like use Yojimbo so aggressively to accomplish objectives and deny him his Liaison Officer, and then some key dice rolls went my way, sealing me the game. Thanks for the game, and I look forward to a rematch, perhaps against your JSA, Nathan!

Tournament Thoughts

I really enjoyed Ragnarok. Adam (avanst) had a narrative thread that he would unveil a little more of at the beginning of each mission, just to tie everything together. He even got those silicone wristbands to mark our allegiance to Asgard or Jotenheim. I was one of very few Asgardians. I guess folks like playing the “bad guy?”

Adam (avanst) also posted Google forms for us to enter our points and so on. I think this would be helpful for a very large tournament. I may try it at a small local tournament just to see how it goes. Adam’s form just had a “what was your ITS Name, Pin, OP, VP, TP?” series of questions, but perhaps I will write a different, mission-specific form to help newer players with scoring. “Did you secure the antenna?” and the like I think would be helpful when you’re in that brain dead state at the end of the game and struggling to do basic arithmetic.

While the tournament ran very long and I would’ve loved to have more time to explore the city, I have to say that the relaxed pace and atmosphere did wonders for my stress and energy levels throughout both days. Very little salt, even after an embarrassing performance both mornings. For me at least, I think the first game of the morning is usually my worst. I’m not in the groove yet, I’m just warming up, and I often haven’t formulated a plan yet for what I’m going to do. If I really wanted to buckle down and gun for a high ITS ranking, the thing to do would be to inspect all the tables before the round starts and think about deployment. I’m of the opinion that I’m not playing this game to increase internet nerd points, so I’m going to consciously avoid doing that and just enjoy the tournament and the company of my fellow gamers.

After all was said and done, I placed 9th out of 24, which was fine with me. Absolutely could’ve done better, but I have a clear understanding of what went wrong. I made bad decisions and stuck with them in games versus Obi and Rida, two of the stronger players in the Cascadia meta and frankly North America. No wonder I was punished for my mistakes!

I’d like to give a special shout out to Andy (Ignovus) for not just taking home the 1st place trophy but helping keep the Cascadia trophy in the United States! Take that, Canadians! Andy’ll tell you it’s because Tohaa are OP, but he’s a great player, don’t listen to him. And of course, a huge and heartfelt thank you to all our Canadian hosts. Beautiful tables, wonderful people, plentiful beer, and just a great sense of warmth and good cheer to keep the brisk air at bay. We’ll be back for the next one, Adam (avanst)!

After we wrapped up and dropped James (RomanLegion) off at the airport, we went hunting for food and found this amazing restaurant:

To our utter sadness, we discovered that the restaurant had not had its grand opening yet, so we were denied fried chicken! We’ll just have to come back! Instead, we opted for a delicious meal of hot pot, or “group soup” as Adam (TheDiceAbide)’s lovely wife likes to call it.

Thank you to all my opponents and for all the Infinity nerds in attendance for making Ragnarok a wonderful experience. If you can make it next year, GO! Thanks for reading.

WiseKensai

WiseKensai

I primarily play Infinity these days, but I have PHR fleet for Dropfleet Commander and I will eventually get my CEF for Heavy Gear built...

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